Saturday, May 19, 2012


Paper Kite (Idea leucanoe) These were "attacking" everyone. Goodness me it was incredible. I wonder what lotion everyone was using? Mine was "tropical fruit something" :P

Last visit before closing (May 28th). was once again a breathtaking sight to be among such beautiful creatures. After I was more or less content with taking a thousand and one pictures I just "sat back" and watched them.

I'll be forever grateful for this place. It's made me "open my eyes" since apparently I was "blind" before, which is saying something since I loved them all of my life but since visiting this place I've had a brand new appreciation and love for them.

And the intensity of it is shocking. I never thought I could love something so much that it completely takes over your entire being. People yes but with people it's a bit different. *^^* At least with me Idk.........but they make me feel things that people can't. They have been there (insects in general) in ways that people as wonderful as they are cannot.

And I'm forever thankful. God bless you Lepidoptera. Now on with business!

Morpho polyphemus what an honor to hold. Had to rescue this one as one of it's wings was kinda snagged onto one of the pine tree branches. 


Once again too many to count and lots of "new species" for me AND for them as well. Had learned that many years back they had Chrysiridia rhipheus......alive in that blessed exhibit. Once again I'm speechless. I hope to one day lay eyes on this moth.

Had also asked about Entomology classes within NYC........I need to start searching CUNY website since I apparently had it all wrong. *^^* I wasn't thinking about all the "Science departments" I was looking for the word wonder.........*Excited squee*

Observed Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and Great Southern White (Ascia monuste) eclosions!! Of course I have videos which will be posted ASAP since there's so much. The Paper Kites were attacking everyone. Idk what it was......certain people's lotion or perfume? And one Heliconiid was in love with everyone too. Was flying around people like crazy.

New Additions:

1. Green Underwing (Nessaea aglaura)
2. Dero Clearwing (Dircenna dero)
3. Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
4. Morpho polyphemus
5. Charaxes guderiana
6. Catonephele numilia *Observed both males and females. Sexually dimorphic will be researching the entire genus Catonephele they're STUNNING!
7. Pink Rose (Atrophaneura (Pachliopta) kotzebuea)
8. Parides iphidamas
9. Atala Hairstreak (Eumaeus atala)

Parides iphidamas and Parides arcas are insanely confusing! >_< Observed both males and females of whichever Parides species was flying about. Males were often seen "chasing each other". Was told they have both arcas and iphidamas.

The Paper Kites were another story altogether. They were in love with everyone for some reason. I had stuck out my finger in an attempt to have something land on it not expecting a thing and one (Paper Kite) had just alighted on me. Came out of nowhere. ♥

1 of only God knows how many!! Uploading more pics & Vids to FB as I type this. Stay tuned for more. Aren't they gorgeous?! ♥_♥

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Celastrina Mystery Deepens

So a while back I was researching the Lycaenidae and their insanely fascinating life cycles and had run across this badass PDF on the association with ants within the Lycaenidae (Myrmecophily "ant love") and it got me wondering what exactly did the life cycle entail for Celastrina spp.?

More specifically for Celastrina argiolus and Celastrina neglecta since we supposedly, or rather I should say possibly get both "species" around here. So I started researching and was "reminded" of their seriously fucked taxonomy. >_<

Not only that but I think I'm going to have to edit my list of butterflies and moths in my beloved park again solely due to this:

"There were a lot of these flying around a dirt path by the edge of a woodsy area. I only got the one open-wing shot; luckily it turned out reasonably good! I didn't even realize at the time that it's apparently quite difficult to catch these guys with their wings open.

Peterson's Field Guide to Butterflies has this butterfly labeled as the summer form of Celastrina argiolus, common name Spring Azure. A Google search of "celastrina argiolus" turns up a bunch of results about the Holly Azure. Both of those names appear to be different species here on BugGuide, and there is no page for argiolus. Is it still a recognized species? Or is it now called something else?"

- Joel Gardner, Bugguide

And the response:

"The name was actually given to a Eurasian insect. However, for many years it was thought that ours were all the same variable species with a wide range across two continents. However, now it is thought by many people that none our "Azures" are the same as any of those found in Eurasia, and the name C. argiolus has been dropped for all of ours. Another development is that the idea of all of ours being the same species has changed. It is now understood that we have some populations that are definitely distinct species with different coloration and other characteristics that make them recognizable, and that do not interbreed with one another. There are also lots of populations that use different food plants, or seem to appear at different seasons, but that are not easy to draw lines between. Right now seems to be a phase of learning and naming, and many new names are being given to such populations as if they are really new species. Some likely are, and many likely are not. There has been much study, but needs to be much much more before these Blues are fully understood. To add to the confusion, they are variable in coloring and patterning within populations, and different "broods" of the same population may look quite different (probably the coloring and pattern is affected by things like day length, temperature, and even humidity). So, right now, to sort them out based on photographs alone, is very difficult. Especially since there are varied and conflicting opinions on what is going on. [Personally, I think there are few very adaptable and highly varied species - non many. I also have no problem with the idea that some of ours really could be the same as some of the Eurasian species.]"

- David J. Ferguson, Bugguide

And the response to that:

So basically what it comes down to is, the experts are nearly as confused as I am. Better leave this ID at the genus level for now (though I'll keep it labeled with argiolus in my photo collection; stick to the outdated but more stable taxonomy)

- Joel Gardener, Bugguide

First please don't sue for quoting you guys *^^* I'm trying to understand something here just as we all are on these highly confusing butterflies. @_@

Where's Nabokov when you need him?

So any way it looks like I might have to rewrite my list. If Celastrina argiolus is not a "full species" and......let me stop before I give myself a migraine. Based on observations I had made last year at one point in time I had thought I was seeing both C. argiolus and C. neglecta solely due to the fact that Bugguide had mention that any Azure seen flying after July 1st in the mid-Atlantic region is probably C. neglecta.

But now I'm having doubts as to exactly what I'm seeing. For one I'm not sure if I'm in the mid-Atlantic region. I can tell you I'm NYC, in Manhatten in Harlem and I'm infested up to my knees with butterflies, and all sorts of wonderful insecty goodness.

But is this the mid-Atlantic region? Can anyone confirm? Also Bugguide doesn't have a page for C. argiolus and now I can kind of understand why. But getting back to my observations that's making want to know what I'm seeing.

The blues normally come out around this time (haven't seen any yet.....I blame the weather.) from late April (maybe) through May-June. Last year I remember observing a particularly "friendly" female nectaring on button bush which is where I normally see them excluding individuals passing by my house.

She had her wings open and from what I remember looked sort of like the one in the photo taken by the observer I quoted from Bugguide (links below). Then there was the male I had rescued from the pool in August that changed "everything" I thought I knew about them at the time and just posed more questions.

So at that time I did research and came across Bugguide's neglecta page mentioning that any Azure flying after July 1st is probably C. neglecta. Which sated me for the time being until now. Until this came up while I was researching local Lycaenidae.

In other words: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!!!


C. argiolus speculation
Bugguide's C. neglecta Page

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Snails *^^*

Is now believed to be Mesomphix sp., Mesomphix globosus (McMillan, 1940) Globose Button Thank you David *^^*

This adorable little guy/gal (they're hermaphrodites remember?) was found perched underneath the fence wire in my beloved park and was an absolute joy to have spent time with after spoiling my mother. ^^♥

And of course the butterflies........

 "Mmmmmmmmhmmmmm it's sooooo good!!"

This one must've been starving because no matter what I did it didn't fly off like the others normally do. It just sat there sipping away while I had my hand right next to it's gorgeous face trying to see if it would crawl on me. *^^*

Aaaaand another sighting of Nymphalis antiopa!! Flying through the city while I was on my way to the park. Smh.......what a sight. Also 2 possible dragonflies too. Harmonia axyridis adults and larvae (observed newly molted larva on the underside of a leaf!!).

Never ceases to amaze me........♥ Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms. God bless you all! *^^*

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Suspected Protoboarmia porcelaria on my terrace.

Over the past few days along with the wonderful infestation of butterflies there have been long awaited appearances of my lovely Heteroceran friends.

So far:

Hypena scabra
Ostrinia nubilalis
Protoboarmia porcelaria
1 Unidentified brown beauty on said terrace

I love it! Keep them coming.

The Unidentified One. *^^*

*Notes: Was ALL brown with the hindwings being that classic tan-whitish sand color. Legs were tuffed a bit and the thorax had those little tuffs of scales that stick up in some moths.

Was very "flighty". All over the place. Wish I had gotten better piccies but for some reason it was not a good time for it. I think it had something to do with lighting again.  Need to research possible contenders before "speaking" on anything else.

Fascinating. I'm in awe of the variability of some species. It's amazing!!

Hypena scabra? Picture doesn't do it justice. XD

Specimen as far as patterns go looked a little worn for some odd reason. These like coming into my house alot during the summer. I'm surprised to see one out this early!!

For some reason I remember them coming in a little later in the season. June perhaps? But I've only observed them in my house. Never outside until now. Moth in photo was perched on the side of some wall to a shop a couple of blocks from my house.

Once again the Lepidopterans never cease to amaze me. My gooodneeeeess!! *.*

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mystery Moth

Mystery moth. Was found on the window in the lobby while I went to check mail. Apologies for fuzziness. ^^;;

Nothing but research atm. Came up with following most likely candidates:

The "Contenders"

Ostrinia nubilalis
Crocidophora sp.? *Bugguide only lists a "select few" so not too sure
Mecyna submedialis

↑ Going off on memory of patterns now. I tried (Lord knows I did) to get decent pictures/videos but the environment was not having it. Lighting sucked. *Is pissed* So now the little mothy wothy. :P is somewhere in my housy wousy.

Come out come out wherever you areeeeee. We're not done with our photoshoot!! :P

Monday, May 07, 2012

Butterflies Galore Part 2

Vanessa atalanta nectaring at Philidelphia Orange ("Mock Orange")

Continued from yesterday as there's just so much to show and tell. *^^*

Red admirals and the supposed Question Mark nectaring at Crabapple blossoms? 

Also a shoutout to a Mr. Khalid Fadil who I was conversing with about the supposed Question Mark who told me that the green thorax is a sign of a "fresh specimen". I didn't know this. Thank you very very much. Explains alot now.

Now all that's left is figuring out if they're definitely Question Marks and not just overly large Eastern Commas. :P

But I'm thinking they are.......I just need to see the underside of one of them to know for sure.

Older specimen

Aren't they gorgeous??? *.* Stay tuned for part 3 (YES there's THAT many)!!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Butterflies Galore

Best. Day. Ever.

At precisely 7:00AM this morning my friend had woken me up with the best news ever. "Butterflies ("unidentified") swarming through New Jersey getting ready to come to NYC" ← This was apparently on the news. Already knowing that the red admirals were owning 2012 in other states and slowly making their way over here (had seen about 4 flitting through the city already) I was thinking that the red admirals were the "culprits" until I had asked her what type they said they were.......she said that the news people had said "unidentified".

I had to laugh. XD Don't they research? So this lead me to thinking that if by some crazy chance they weren't the red admirals.......then what were they?

So late afternoon (after the sun FINALLY came out) I took my butt down to my beloved park.....and........*big happy breath*

They. Were. Everywhere.!


I cannot stress to you how many there were. It's impossible. I counted 4 as I was entering the park and as I got further down.....forget it. XD *Happy squee* I lost count! I can definitely say early on there were "8" (4 from before and 4 flying together in some sort of territorial dance) but after that it was a no go. XD

With in the catnip bushes there were Painted & American Ladies (Vanessa cardui & V. virginiensis) and on the other side of them the red admirals (Vanessa atalanta). These particular ones were smaller then usual.......I wonder why?

Aaaaaand this one:


I once again have never seen so many.......ever. Except for maybe the Pieris rapae Mating Fest of 2011 but other then that........damn.

I'm also very pleased to report that after today's epic observations I have to add 3 new additions to the list of insects at that beloved park of mine:

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) *see rant below
Mystery Syrphid Fly *see rant below

Questioning The Question Marks (Polygonia interrogationis)

If this is a Question Mark I don't remember them having green thoraxes.....0_0 Polygonia comma........I don't remember them being like this either.


Was on a dead tree sunning itself with a few admirals lazing about. Got into a "fight" with one of the said admirals and wound up chasing it out of the area before it settled back onto it's "perch" (and a mighty big perch too!). Upon taking pictures and trying to get as close as possible without scaring it I noticed it looked a little different from the Eastern Commas (Polygonia comma) that I usually see.

For one it appeared larger and it was lighter in color (the orange) and the spots are a little different. Plus the thorax is green! What in blue blazes is going on here? What is this gorgeous beauty?

Will be cropping photos later for better viewing and ID'ing. 

Mystery Syrphid Fly

A very convincing mimic of Bombus impatiens!

But this is a Syphid fly......any idea on what species? Input is greatly appreciated. =)

This was observed buzzing along with other possible Bombus impatiens. *^^* Very convincing as I had at first thought it was one of the "smaller ones" (will get into this later) until it landed and I got a piccie *^^*

Isn't it just adorable? Once again will be cropping later for better viewing and ID'ing.

Additional Observations:

Harmonia axyridis buzzing about
An Earthworm and a millipede
Tiny ground beetle of some sort
2 "Oak Gall Wasps" on the underside of a supposed Dogwood and an Oak leaf
1 Psyllobora vigintimaculata or Propylea quatourdecimpunctata *This was larger then the last 2 I observed. Idk which species is larger. X_X

One more.......♥

Stay tuned for part #2 (simply because there's so many pictures/videos)! 0_0

*Note: Click on the piccies to make them larger for better viewing/ID'ing. Until next time!